American and British English pronunciation differences

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Differences in pronunciation between American English (AmE) and British English (BrE) can be divided into:

In the following discussion:

  • superscript A2 after a word indicates that the BrE pronunciation of the word is a common variant in AmE.
  • superscript B2 after a word indicates that the AmE pronunciation of the word is a common variant in BrE.
  • superscript A1 after a word indicates that the pronunciation given as BrE is also the most common variant in AmE.
  • superscript B1 after a word indicates that the pronunciation given as AmE is also the most common variant in BrE.


Subscript a or b means that the relevant unstressed vowel is also reduced to /ə/ or // in AmE or BrE, respectively.

French stress[edit]

For many loanwords from French where AmE has kept the original French final-syllable stress, BrE stresses an earlier syllable. French loanwords that differ in stress only are listed below.

BrE AmE words with relevant syllable stressed in each dialect[1]
1st last barragea,[nb 1] batonab*, bereta[nb 2], bidet, blaséA2, bouffantA2,[nb 3] brasserieb, brassiereab, brevetabA2,[2] brochurebB2*,[nb 4][3] buffeta,[nb 5][4] cachetA2, café*a*b, caffeineA2, canardaB1,[5] chagrina, chaletA2, cliché*a, collagea*B2, coupé, croissant*a, debrisaA2,[nb 6] debut, décorA2, detailaA2, figurine, flambé,[nb 7] frappé, garageaB2,[nb 8] gourmetA2, lamé[nb 9], matinée, milieuB2, negligeeA2, nonchalantbA2, nondescript, parquet*b, pastelB2b, pastilleb,[nb 10] pâté,[nb 11] précisA2, sachet, salona, savantabA2, solfège,[7] sorbet,[nb 12] soupçon,[8] vaccine, massage.

Also some French names, including: Degas, Dijon,[9] Dumas,[10] Manet,[11] Monet,[nb 13][12] Renaulta,[nb 14][13] Rimbaud.[nb 15][14]

2nd last attaché, consomméa, décolleté, déclassé, démodé,[15] denouement, distingué, escargot, exposé, fiancé(e)A2,[nb 16] retroussé.

Also some French names, including: Debussyb, Dubonneta.

last 1st addressbA1 (noun), decadebB1,[nb 17][16] esquireb*A2, magazineA2, mayonnaiseA2 tiradeA2, ((bi)p)artisana.B1/2[nb 18]
2nd 1st artisanalA1, liaisonabA2*[nb 19],[17] macraméab, Renaissanceab[nb 20]

Verbs ending in –ate[edit]

Most 2-syllable verbs ending -ate have first-syllable stress in AmE and second-syllable stress in BrE. This includes castrate, cremateA2,[18] dictateA2, donateA2, locateA2, migrate, narratebA2, placatebB2, prostrate, pulsate, rotate, serrateA2, spectate, striate,[19] translateA1, vacateb*A2,[20] vibrateA2. Examples where AmE and BrE match include create, debate, equate, elate, negate; and mandate and probate with first-syllable stress. Derived nouns in -ator retains the distinction, but those in -ation do not. Also, migratoryB1[21] and vibratoryB1 [22] sometimes retain the distinction.

Most longer -ate verbs are pronounced the same in AmE and BrE, but a few have first-syllable stress in BrE and second-syllable stress in AmE: elongateaA2, infiltrateA2, remonstrateabA2,[23] tergiversateaA1[nb 21].[24] For some derived adjectives ending -atory stress-shifting to -a(tory)- occurs in BrE. Among these cases are celebratorya[25] (BrE: /ˌsɛlˈbrtəri/), compensatorya,[26] participatorya,[27] regulatoryaB1.[28] AmE stresses the same syllable as the corresponding -ate verb (except compensatory, where AmE stresses the second syllable[29]). A further -atory difference is laboratoryB2: AmE /ˈlæbərəˌtɔːri, ˈlæbrə-/ and BrE /ləˈbɒrətəri, -rətri/.[30]

Miscellaneous stress[edit]

There are a number of cases where same-spelled noun, verb and/or adjective have uniform stress in one dialect but distinct stress in the other (e.g. alternate, prospect): see initial-stress-derived noun.

The following table lists words not brought up in the discussion so far where the main difference between AmE and BrE is in stress. Usually it also follows a reduction of the unstressed vowel. Words marked with subscript A or B are exceptions to this, and thus retains a full vowel in the (relatively) unstressed syllable of AmE or BrE. A subsequent asterisk, *, means that the full vowel is usually retained; a preceding * means that the full vowel is sometimes retained.

Words with other points of difference are listed in a later table.

BrE AmE words with relevant syllable stressed in each dialect[1]
1st 2nd BalthazarA, cerebral/cerebrumA2, illustrativeA2, omegaA, patinaA1, stalactiteA2, stalagmiteA2, SuezA2*, subalternA2, thanksgivingABB2, transferenceAA2, UlyssesA
2nd 1st ancillaryB, AugustineBA2, catenary, controversyB1, corollary, defence/offenseAA2 (sport), fritillary, guffawA1,[31] marshmallowAB,[nb 22] miscellany,[nb 23] patronal,[32] predicative, pretence/pretenseAA1, princess*AA2, saxophonistBB2, spread(-)eagledAB,[33] substratumABA2, tracheaAB2
1st 3rd opportuneAB
2nd 3rd submarinerA2
3rd 1st hemoglobinAB, margarineB, PyreneesAB
3rd 2nd arytenoidA1, obscurantismABA2[34]



Where the syllable preceding the suffixes -ary, -ery, -ory, -mony or -ative is unstressed, AmE pronounces the antepenultimate syllable with a full vowel sound: /ˌɛri/ for -ary and -ery, /ˌɔːri/ for -ory, /ˌmni/ for -mony and /ˌtɪv/ -ative. BrE reduces the vowel to a schwa or even elides it completely: /əri/ or /ri/, /məni/ and /ətɪv/ -ative. So military is AmE /ˈmɪləˌtɛri/ and BrE /ˈmɪltəri/ or /ˈmɪltri/,[35] inventory is AmE /ˈɪnvənˌtɔːri/ and BrE /ˈɪnvəntəri, -vəntri/,[36] testimony is AmE /ˈtɛstˌmni/ and BrE /ˈtɛstməni/.[37] and innovative is AmE /ˈɪnˌvtɪv/ or /ˈɪnəˌvtɪv/ and BrE /ˈɪnəvətɪv/.[38] (The elision is avoided in carefully enunciated speech, especially with endings -rary,-rery,-rory.[citation needed])

Where the syllable preceding -ary, -ery, -ory, -mony or -ative is stressed however, AmE also usually reduces the vowel: /əri/, /məni/. Exceptions include library,[39] primaryA2,[40] rosemary.[41] (Pronouncing library as /ˈlˌbɛri/ rather than /ˈlˌbrɛri/ is highly stigmatized in AmE,[citation needed] whereas in BrE, /ˈlbri/ is common in rapid or casual speech.)

The suffix -berry is pronounced by similar rules, except that in BrE it may be full /ˌbɛri/ after an unstressed syllable, while in AmE it is usually full in all cases. Thus we have strawberry: BrE /ˈstrɔːbəri, -bri/, AmE /ˈstrɔːˌbɛri/, and whortleberry: BrE/AmE /ˈwɔːrtəlˌbɛri/.

The placename component -bury (e.g. Canterbury) has a similar difference: AmE has a full vowel: /ˌbɛri/ where BrE has a reduced or none at all: /bəri, bri/.

Note that stress differences between the dialects occur with some words ending in -atory (listed above) and a few others like capillary (included in #Miscellaneous stress above).

Formerly the BrE–AmE distinction for adjectives carried over to corresponding adverbs ending -arily, -erily or -orily. However, nowadays some BrE speakers adopt the AmE practice of shifting the stress to the antepenultimate syllable: militarily is thus sometimes /ˌmɪlˈtɛrli/ rather than /ˈmɪltrli/, and necessarily is in BrE either /ˈnɛsəsərɪli, -səsrɪ-/. or /ˌnɛsˈsɛrli/[42]


Words ending in unstressed -ile derived from Latin adjectives ending -ilis are mostly pronounced with a full vowel in BrE /l/ but a reduced vowel or syllabic L in AmE /əl/ (e.g. fertile rhymes with fur tile in BrE but with furtle in AmE).

AmE will (unlike BrE, except when indicated withB2) have a reduced last vowel:

  • generally in facile, (in)fertile, fissile, fragile, missile, stabile (adjective), sterile, tensile, versatile, virile, volatile
  • usually in agile, decile, ductile,[43] futile, hostile, juvenile, (im)mobile (adjective & phone),[44] nubile, projectile, puerile, reptile, servile, tactile, utile;[45]
  • sometimes in domicileB2,[nb 24][46] infantile, pensile, percentile, senile.[nb 25] textile
  • never in crocodile, exile, gentile, reconcile; nor to compounds of monosyllables (e.g. turnstile from stile).

In some words the pronunciation /l/ also comes into play:

Related endings -ility, -ilize, -iliary are pronounced the same in AmE as BrE.


The suffix -ine,[7] when unstressed, is pronounced sometimes /n/ (e.g. feline), sometimes /n/ (e.g. morphine) and sometimes /ɪn/ (e.g. medicine). Some words have variable pronunciation within BrE, or within AmE, or between BrE and AmE. Generally, AmE is more likely to favour /n/ or /ɪn/, and BrE to favour /n/.

BrE /n/, AmE (1) /n/: carbineA2, FlorentineA2, philistineA2, pristineB1[nb 26], salineA2, serpentineA2.

BrE /n/, AmE (1) /n/ (2) /ɪn/: adamantineA2.

BrE /n/, AmE /ɪn/: uterineB2.

BrE /n/, AmE (1) /ɪn/ (2) /n/ (3) /n/: crystalline, labyrinthine.[49]

BrE (1) /n/, AmE (1) /n/

Weak forms[edit]

The titles Saint and Sir[citation needed] before a person's name have weak forms in BrE but not AmE: before vowels, /sənt/[50] and /sər/.

Miscellaneous pronunciation differences[edit]

These tables list words pronounced differently but spelled the same. See also the table of words with different pronunciation reflected in the spelling.

Single differences[edit]

Words with multiple points of difference of pronunciation are in the table after this one. Accent-based differences are ignored. For example, Moscow is RP /ˈmɒsk/ and GAm /ˈmɒsk/, but only the //-// difference is highlighted here, since both the /ɒ/-/ɑː/ difference and the RP use of // rather than // are predictable from the accent. Also, tiara is listed with AmE /æ/; the marry–merry–Mary merger changes this vowel for many Americans. Some AmE types are listed as /ɒ/ where GAm merges to /ɑː/.

A2 means that American speakers may use either pronunciation;B2 means British speakers may use either pronunciation.

BrE AmE Words
/ɑː/ /æ/ Excluding words changed by the trap–bath split,[51] (which affects most southern British speakers and almost no American speakers): banana, choraleA2,[52] ColoradoA2,[53] cyclorama, diorama, Internationale, khakiA2, localeA2, morale, musicale, Nevada,[54] pajama(s)A2,[55] PakistaniA2, panoramaA2, pastorale, plaqueB2, rale, rationale, Sahara, scenarioA2, sopranoA2, SudanB2, sultana, tiaraA2
/æ/ /ɑː/ "A" in the anglicised pronunciation of many foreign names and loanwords, e.g.: AnkaraA2,[56] aquaA2,[57] Basra, Boccaccio, CaracasB2, Casablanca, Casals, caveatA2, Cezanne, chiantiA2, Delgado, goulashA2,[58] grappa, Gulag, hacienda, kebab,[59] Las (placenames, e.g. Las Vegas), lasagnaB2, latteB2, Lausanne, macho, mafiaA2, MilanA2,[60] Mohammed, MombasaA2, paso doble, pasta, patio, PicassoA2, pilaff, Rachmaninoff, rallentandoA2,[61] ravioli, regattaA2,[62] SlovakA2, squacco, Sri LankaA2, Uganda, Vasco da Gama, Vivaldi, wigwam
/ɑː/ // charade, cicadaA2, pralineB2,[63] tomatoA2, stratumB2[nb 27] [7]
/æ/ // basilA2 (plant), canineB2, granary, (im)placable, macronA2, pal(a)eo-, (com/un)patriot(ic)B2, (ex/re)patriate/-ationB2, phalanxA2, plaitA2, Sabine, satrapA2, satyrA2[7]
// /æ/ apparatusA2, apricotA2, comrade, dahliaA2, digitalisA2, gratisB2, patentB2, statusA2[7]
/æ/ /ɒ/ twatB2
/ɒ/ /æ/ quagmireB2,[64] scallopB2, wrath[nb 28]
/ɔː/ // porous
// /ɔː/ wontA2
/ɔː/ /ɑː/ schmaltzA2[65]
/æ/ /ɔː/ asphalt
/ɒ/ /ɔː/ Excluding words changed by the lot-cloth split: alcohol, atoll, gnocchi, oratory, parasol, sausage[66]
/ɔː/ /ɒ/ leprechaun[67]
/ɔː/ /ʊ/ courgette[nb 29], your
/ɔːl, ɔː/ /æl/ falconA2[nb 30][7][68]
// /ɛ/ Aesculapius, Aeschylus, (a)esthete/-ticB2,[69] an(a)esthetist/-ize, amenityB2,[70] besti(al/ary), breveA2, D(a)edalus, ecumenicalB2, epochalB1,[71] eraA2,[72] esotericB2,[73] h(a)emo-, Hephaestus, hygienicA2, hysteriaA2,[74] KenyaB2, methaneB2, OedipusA2, (o)estrogenB2,[75] (o)estrusB2,[76] p(a)edophile, penalizeA2, Ph(a)edrus, predecessorA2, predilectionA2,[77] pyrethrinA2, qu(a)estor, schizophreniaA2,[78] senileA2, (bi/quin/quater)centenaryB2
/ɛ/ // crematoriumA2, cretin, depotA2,[79] eco-B2, leisureA2, presentationA2,[80] reconnoit(re/er)A2, zebraB2
// // beta, eta, heinousB2, quayA2, reparteeA2,[81] theta, zeta
// // Haggai,[82] HeleneA2, IsraelA2
/ɛ/ // ateB2, mêléeA2,[7] presa
// /ɛ/ again(st)B2, nonpareil[7]
/ɒ/ /ʌ/ hoverA2, want(ed)A2. Also the strong forms of these function words: (every/some/no/any)bodyA2, fromA2, ofA2, Somme, wasA2, whatA2
/ʌ/ /ɒ/ accompliceB2,[83] accomplishB2,[84] colanderB2, conjureA2, constableB2, monetaryA2, -mongerA2
/ɒ/ // adios, Aeroflot, ayatollah, Barbados, baroqueB2,[85] BoccheriniA2,[86] Bogota, calvados, Chopin, cognacA2,[87] compost, grossoA2,[88] ErosA2, homo-B2, Interpol, logos (singular)A2, Lod, olfactoryA2,[89] pedagogyA2, Pinocchio, pogrom, polkaB2, produce (noun)A2,[90] professorial, prophy-(lactic/laxis), protegeB2,[91] ProvencalA2,[92] realpolitik, Rosh HashanahA2, shone, solsticeA2,[93] sojourn, Sonia,[94] TolstoyA2,[95] trollB2, yogurtB2[96]
// /ɒ/ Adonis, codicilB2[97] codifyA2, goffer, ogleA2, process (noun)A2,[98] projectB2(noun), slothA2, trothA2, wrothB2
/ɪ/ // dynasty, hibiscus, housewifery,[71] idyll, IranA2, IraqA2, italicA2,[99] itinerant, pipette, privacyB2,[100] simultaneousA2, tinnitus, tricolo(u)rB2,[101] Tyrolean, vitaminB2. See also -ine.
// /ɪ/ butylB2, cervical, cyclic(al)B2, divisive, doctrinal, forsythia, -isation/-izationA2, primer (schoolbook), Pythagoras, subsidence/-ent, synapseB2, umbilicalB2, urinal. See also -ine.[7]
// // Isaiah
// // (n)eitherAB2,[nb 31] Pleiades, via. See also -ine.
// // albino, geyser, migraineB2. Also the prefixes anti-A2, multi-A2, semi-A2 in loose compounds (e.g. in anti-establishment, but not in antibody). See also -ine.
// /ɪ/ beenB2,[102] creekA1, invalid (noun), prima
/ɪ/ // aphrodisiac, bulimia, memorabilia, pi(t)taB2, prestigious
/ɛ/ /ɑː/ enclave, envoi/-voy
/æ/ /ɛ/ femme fataleA2, pall-mallA2[nb 32][7]
// // nousA2
/ʊ/ /ɪ/ kümmel
/ʊ/ // BuddhaA2, cuckoo, guru
// /ʊ/ boogie-woogie, coop, hoofA2, hoop, roofB2, rootA2, snooker, woofA2 (weaving), boulevard[103]
// /ə/ ferrule
/ʊ/ /ɜːr/ courier
/ʊ/ /ʌ/ brusqueB2
/ə/ /ʌ/ surplus
/ʌ/ /ə/ dandruff[verification needed]
/ʌ/ // felucca
// // routeA1[nb 33][104]
// // broochA2
// // cantaloup(e)
/ʌ/ // plover
// // MoscowA2
/ər/ /ɑːr/ MadagascarA2
/ər/ /ɜːr/ chauffeur
/ɑːr/ /ɜːr/ Berkeley, Berkshire, Cherwell, clerk, derby, Hertford(shire). (The only AmE word with ⟨er⟩ = /ɑːr/ is sergeant.)
/ɜːr/ /ɛr/ errA2
/ɛr/ /ɜːr/ deterrentA2
/ɛr/ /ɪr/ inherent
/ɪər/ /ɪr/ or /ɛr/ coherent
/ɪr/ /ɜːr/ chirrupA2, squirrel, stirrupA2, syrupA2
/ɔːr/ /ər/ acornA1,[105] record (noun)
/ə/ /ɒ/ Amazon, anacoluthon, automaton, Avon, capon, crampon, crayon, hexagon, Lebanon, lexicon, marathon, (m)ascot, melancholy,[106] myrmidon, octagon, Oregon, pantechnicon, paragon, Parthenon, pentagon, phenomenon, polygon, pylon, pythonA2, Rubicon, saffron, silicon
/ɒ/ /ə/ Aesop, Amos, condom, despot, Enoch, ingot, mosquito, sombrero
/ɒ/ /ɛ/ roentgen, Stendhal
/ə/ /ɛ/ nonsense
/ɛ/ /ə/ congress, Kentucky
/ɛ/ // parallelepiped[107]
/ɛ/ /ɪ/ manageress, spinet
/ɪ/ /ɛ/ deficitB2, despicable
/ɪ/ /ə/ impetigo, vehicleA2
/ə/ /æ/ applique, baboon, bassoon, Capri, fastidiousB2, nasturtium, papoose, platoon, raccoon, taboo, tattoo, trapeze
/ə/ // -ative, DraconianA2, grimace, satanic
// /ə/ entrails, template[108]
/ə/ // anchovy, probation, procedure, prohibit, proliferate, prolific, Prometheus, prophetic, propinquity, prorogation, protest (verb), protract, protrude, protuberance/-ant, varicose, also place names such as EdinburghA2 (see also -ory and -mony)
// /ə/ kimono
/juː/ // Excluding words altered by the yod-dropping phenomenon: barracuda, minute (adj.), pumaA2
// /juː/ couponA2, fuchsine, HoustonB2
/juː/ /w/ conduit, iguanaB2,[109] jaguar, NicaraguaB2
/ər/ /jər/ figureA2 for the verb
/ʊ/ /jʊ/ eruditeA2,[110] purulent, virulence
/jʊ/ /ʊ/ duress, Honduras, résuA2[111]
/ɑː/ /ə/ charivari
/ɑː/ /ət/ nougat[nb 34]
// /ət/ sorbet,[nb 35] tourniquet
/ət/ // fillet
// /ɒt/ HuguenotA2
/ɜːr/ // milieu
/ɜːr/ /ʊər/ connoisseurA2, entrepreneurA2, masseur
/ɜːrz/ /s/ Betelgeuse, chanteuse, chartreuseA2, masseuse
/z/ /s/ AussieA2, blouse (noun), blouson, complaisantA2, crescentB2, dextrose, diagnoseA2, erase, fuselageA2, greasy, mimosa, parse, ruseA2, talisman, treatise, usage, valise, venison, visaA1[112]
/s/ /z/ asthma, chromosome
/ts/ /z/ piazzaA2, schnauzer, terrazzo
/ð/ /θ/ bequeath, boothB2, loath(ful/ly/some)A2, smithyA2, withstand(ing)A2
/ʃ/ /ʒ/ AsiaB2, cashmere, PersiaB2, (as/dis)persionA2, (ex/in)cursionB2, (im/sub)mersion, (a/con/di/in/per/re)versionA2
// // sandwichB2,[113] spinachB2
// // Chou (en Lai)
// /ʃ/ braggadocio
/ʃ/ // chassis
/si/ /ʃ/ cassiaA2, CassiusA2, DionysiusA2,[114] hessian, Lucius, Theodosius
/zi/ or /si/ /ʃ/ nauseaA2, transientA2
/zi/ /ʒ/ artesian, Elysian, Frisian, Frasier, glazier, grazier, hosiery, Indonesia, Malaysia, Parisian, Polynesia, Rabelaisian
/di/ /i/ cordial(ity)
/ti/ /i/ besti(al/ary), celestial[115]
/tɪ/ /ʃ/ consortiumB2,[116] otiose, sentientB2[117]
/ʃ/ /sk/ scheduleB2[118]
/t/ /d/ TaoismA2
/kw/ /k/ conquistador
/k/ /kw/ questionnaireB2
/f/ or /v/ /f/ nephewB2 (The old English pronunciation with /v/ has to a large extent been replaced by /f/ due to the spelling latinization of Middle English "neveu". The preference breakdown in BrE is /f/ 79%, /v/ 21%.)[119]
(sounded) (silent) Cannes, chthonicB2,[71][120] diaper, herbA2,[121] KnossosB2,[122] phthisisB2, salveA2,[68] solder, (un)toward(s)A2(prep.),B2.
(silent) (sounded) (in)comparable/-ably, medicineB2, modernB2, SingaporeB2, suggestA2,[7] Warwick. See also -ary -ery -ory -bury, -berry.

Multiple differences[edit]

Spelling BrE IPA AmE IPA Notes
advertisement /ədˈvɜːrtɪsmənt/ /ˌædvərˈtzmənt/  
agent provocateur /ˌæʒɒ̃ prəˌvɒkətɜːr/ /ˌɑːʒɒ̃ prˌvɒkəˈtʊər/[verification needed]  
amortise/amortize /əˈmɔːrtz/ /ˈæmərˌtz/ BrE uses two spellings & pronounced /əˈmɔːrtz/. In AmE the word is usually spelled amortize & pronounced /ˈæmərˌtz/.
amphitheater/amphitheatre /ˈæmfɪˌθətər/ /ˈæmfəˌθtər/ BrE is spelled amphitheatre & pronounced /ˈæmfɪˌθətər/. In AmE the word is usually spelled amphitheater & pronounced /ˈæmfəˌθtər/.
avoirdupois /ˌævwɑːrdjuːˈpwɑː/ /ˌævərdəˈpɔɪz/  
basalt /ˈbæsɔːlt/ (1) /bəˈsɔːlt/
(2) /ˈbˌsɔːlt/
bitumen /ˈbɪtjᵿmɪn/ /bˈtmən/  
boehmite (1) /ˈbɜːrmt/
(2) /ˈbmt/
(1) /ˈbmt/
(2) /ˈbmt/
The first pronunciations approximate German [øː] (spelled ⟨ö⟩ or ⟨oe⟩); the second ones are anglicized.
bolognaise/bolognese /ˌbɒləˈnz/ /ˌblənˈjz/ BrE uses two spellings & pronounced /ˌbɒləˈnz/. In AmE the word is usually spelled bolognese & pronounced /ˌblənˈjz/.
boroughA2 /ˈbʌrə/ /ˈbɜːr/  
bouquet (1) /bˈk/
(2) /ˈbk/
(1) /bˈk/
(2) /bˈk/
boyar (1) /ˈbɔɪɑːr/
(2) /bˈjɑːr/
(1) /bˈjɑːr/
(2) /ˈbɔɪər/
buoyA2 /ˈbɔɪ/ /ˈbi/ The British pronunciation occurs in America more commonly for the verb than the noun; still more in derivatives buoyant, buoyancy.
canton /kænˈtn/ (1) /kænˈtɒn/
(2) /kænˈtn/
difference is only in military sense "to quarter soldiers"
other senses can have stress on either syllable in both countries.
capillary /kəˈpɪlərɪ/ /ˈkæpəˌlɛri/  
Caribbean /ˌkærəˈbən/ /kəˈrɪbiən/  
cheong sam /ˈɒŋˈsæm/ /ˈɔːŋˈsɑːm/  
clitoris (1) /ˈklɪtərɪs/
(2) /ˈkltərɪs/
combatant /ˈkɒmbətənt/ /kəmˈbætənt/  
communalB2 /ˈkɒmjᵿnəl/ /kəˈmjuːnəl/  
composite /ˈkɒmpəzɪt/ /kəmˈpɒzɪt/  
coronary /ˈkɒrənərɪ/ /ˈkɔːrəˌnɛri/  
corral /kɒˈrɑːl/ /kəˈræl/  
cosmosA2[123] /ˈkɒzmɒs/ (1) /ˈkɒzməs/
(2) /ˈkɒzˌms/
dachshund /ˈdæksˌənd/ /ˈdɑːksˌhʊnd/  
Dante /ˈdæntɪ/ /ˈdɑːnt/  
dilettante /dɪləˈtænti/ (1) /ˈdɪlətɑːnt/
(2) /ˌdɪləˈtɑːnt/
BrE reflects the word's Italian origin; AmE approximates more to French.
docile /ˈdsl/ /ˈdɒsəl/  
Don Quixote /ˈdɒn ˈkwɪksət/ /ˌdɒn kiˈht/ Compare to Spanish [doŋ kiˈxote]
enquiry/inquiry /ɪŋˈkwaɪəri/ (1) /ˈɪnkwəri/
(2) /ɪŋˈkwaɪəri/
BrE uses two spellings, pronounced /ɛŋˈkwaɪəri/ and /ɪŋˈkwaɪəri/. In AmE the word is usually spelled inquiry.
epochA2 /ˈpɒk/ /ˈɛpək/  
ethosA2 /ˈθɒs/ /ˈɛθˌs/  
expletive (1) /ɛkˈspltɪv/
(2) /ɪkˈspltɪv/
febrileA2[124] /ˈfbrl/ (1) /ˈfɛbrl/
(2) /ˈfɛbrəl/
The BrE pronunciation occurs in AmE  
fracas /ˈfrækɑː/ (1) /ˈfrkəs/
(2) /ˈfrækəs/
(3) /frəˈkɑː/
The BrE plural is French fracas /ˈfrækɑːz/. For AmE examples (1) and (2), the plural is anglicized fracases
Galapagos /ɡəˈlæpəɡɒs/ /ɡəˈlɑːpəˌɡs/  
glacier (1) /ˈɡlæsiər/
(2) /ˈɡlsiər/
GlasgowA2 /ˈɡlɑːzɡ/ /ˈɡlæsɡ/  
holocaustA2 /ˈhɒləˌkɔːst/ (1) /ˈhləˌkɔːst/
(2) /ˈhɔːləˌkɔːst/
impasse (1) /æmˈpɑːs/
(2) /ˈæmpɑːs/
(1) /ˈɪmpæs/
(2) /ɪmˈpæs/
The BrE pronunciations are more true to the French.
jalousie (1) /ʒælʊˈz/
(2) /ˈʒælʊz/
junta /ˈʌntə/ /ˈhʊntə/  
kudos /ˈkjuːdɒs/ /ˈkuˌds/  
lapsang souchong /ˈlæpsæŋ sˈʃɒŋ/ /ˌlɑːpsɑːŋ ˈsʃɒŋ/  
lieutenant (1) /lɛfˈtɛnənt/
(2) /ləˈtɛnənt/
/lˈtɛnənt/ The 2nd British pronunciation is restricted to the Royal Navy. Standard Canadian and Australian pronunciation is the same as the British.
liqueur /lɪˈkjʊər/ /lɪˈkɜːr/  
lychee (1) /ˈl/
(2) /lˈ/
/ˈl/ Spelling litchi has pronunciation /ˈlɪ/. The BrE pronunciation /lˈ/ also occurs in AmE.
mama[125] (1) /ˈmæmə/
(2) /məˈmɑː/
methyl /ˈmθl/ /ˈmɛθəl/  
Molière /ˈmɒliɛər/ /mlˈjɛər/  
moustache[126] /mʊˈstɑːʃ/ /ˈmʌs.tæʃ/  
oblique /əbˈlk/ /əbˈlk/ AmE is as BrE except in military sense "advance at an angle"
oregano /ˌɒrɪˈɡɑːn/ (1) /ɔːˈrɛɡən/
(2) /əˈrɛɡən/
PakistanA2[127] /ˌpɑːkɪsˈtɑːn/ /ˈpækəˌstæn/
pathosA2 /ˈpθɒs/ (1) /ˈpˌθɔːs/
(2) /ˈpˌθs/
penchant /pɒ̃ˈʃɒ̃/ /ˈpɛnənt/ The AmE pronunciation is anglicized; the BrE is French.
penult /pɛˈnʌlt/ (1) /ˈpnʌlt/
(2) /pɪˈnʌlt/
phthisic[128] (1) /ˈθsɪk, fθ-/
(2) /ˈtsɪk/
(1) /ˈtɪzɪk/
(2) /ˈθɪzɪk/
premature[129] (1)/ˈprɛməər/
(2) /ˈprɛmətjʊər/
(2) /ˌprməˈtʊər/
premierA2 (1) /ˈprɛmjər/
(2) /ˈprɛmɪər/
(1) /prɪmˈɪər/
(2) /ˈprmɪər/
première /ˈprɛmiɛər/ (1) /prɪmˈɪər/
(2) /prɪmˈjɛər/
progress (1) /ˈprɡrɛs/
(2) /prˈɡrɛs/
(1) /ˈprɒɡrɛs/
(2) /prəˈɡrɛs/
In both British and American, the noun has stress on the first syllable.
The verb has stress on the second syllable.
provostA2[130] /ˈprɒvəst/ /ˈprvst/
quasi- /ˈkwz/ /ˈkwɑːzi/  
quinine /ˈkwɪnn/ (1) /ˈkwnn/
(2) /ˈkwɪnn/
resource (1) /rˈzɔːrs/
(2) /rˈsɔːrs/
respiratory /rɪˈspɪrətri/ /ˈrɛspərəˌtɔːri/  
respite /ˈrɛspt/ (1) /ˈrɛspɪt/
(2) /rˈspt/
reveille /rɪˈvæli/ /ˈrɛvəli/  
Rioja /riˈɒkə/ /riˈhɑː/  
risotto /rɪˈzɒt/ /rɪˈsɔːt/  
Schleswig-Holstein /ˈʃlzvɪɡ ˈhɒlˌstn/ /ˈʃlɛswɪɡ ˈhlˌstn/  
shallot /ʃəˈlɒt/ /ˈʃælət/  
Silesia (1) /sˈlsiə/
(2) /sˈlziə/
(1) /sɪˈlʃə/
(2) /sɪˈlʒə/
slough /sl/ /slʌf/ sense "bog"; in metaphorical sense "gloom", the BrE pronunciation is common in AmE. Homograph "cast off skin" is /slʌf/ everywhere.
surrogateA2 (1) /ˈsʌrəɡɪt/
(2) /ˈsʌrəˌɡt/
(1) /ˈsɜːrəɡɪt/
(2) /ˈsɜːrəˌɡt/
thoroughA2 /ˈθʌrə/ /ˈθɜːr/  
timbale /tæmˈbɑːl/ /ˈtɪmbəl/  
Tunisia /tjuːˈnɪziə/ (1) /tˈnʒə/
(2) /tˈnʃə/
vaseA2[131] [nb 36][132] /vɑːz/ (1) /vs/
(2) /vz/
Z (the letter) /zɛd/ /z/ The spelling of this letter as a word corresponds to the pronunciation: thus Commonwealth (including, Canada) zed and U.S. zee.


  1. ^ For "dam (barrier)": AmE /ˈbɑːrɪ/
  2. ^ US Listeni/bəˈr/, UK /ˈbɛr/
  3. ^ AmE /bˈfɑːnt/, BrE /ˈbfɒ̃/
  4. ^ AmE Listeni/brˈʃʊər/, BrE (1) /ˈbrʃər/ (2) /brɒˈʃʊər/
  5. ^ BrE (1) /ˈbʊf/ (2) /ˈbʌf/
  6. ^ BrE (1) / ˈdbr/ (2) /ˈdɛbr/
  7. ^ BrE /ˈflɒmb/
  8. ^ BrE also /ˈɡærɪ/, esp. for "petrol garage"/"gas station"[6]
  9. ^ AmE /læˈm/, BrE /ˈlɑːm/
  10. ^ AmE /pæˈstl/
  11. ^ AmE /pɑːˈt///pæˈt/, BrE /ˈpæt/
  12. ^ AmE alsom /ˈsɔːrbɪt/
  13. ^ BrE /ˈmɒn/, AmE /mˈn/, French: [mɔnɛ]
  14. ^ French: [reno]
  15. ^ French: [ʁɛ̃bo]
  16. ^ BrE /fiˈɒns/
  17. ^ The British variant is sometimes discouraged; see pronunciation note in reference.
  18. ^ Only middle vowel reduced in the BrE pronunciations.
  19. ^ The last vowel is often reduced in BrE. AmE only reduces the middle one.
  20. ^ The British is typically /rɪˈnsəns/ and the American /ˈrɛnəsɑːns/ or even /rɛnəˈsɑːns/
  21. ^ Also / ˌtɜːriˈvɜːrst/
  22. ^ AmE (1) /ˈmɑːrʃˌmɛl/ AmE (2) & BrE /mæl/
  23. ^ AmE /ˈmɪsəˌlni/
  24. ^ AmE also /ˈd/
  25. ^ AmE also /ˈsɛnl/
  26. ^ The 2007 update to the Oxford English Dictionary gives only /n/ for the British pronunciation of pristine.
  27. ^ AmE also /ˈstrætʌm/
  28. ^ BrE also /rɔːθ/ Scottish English /ræθ/
  29. ^ BrE also /kʊəˈʒɛt/
  30. ^ BrE also /ɒl/
  31. ^ This word is listed due to possible statistical preferences.
  32. ^ AmE also /pɔːlˈmɔːl/
  33. ^ In British English, the pronunciation /raʊt/ is a different word, spelt rout, meaning to defeat.
  34. ^ BrE also /ˈnʌɡt/
  35. ^ AmE also /sɔːrˈb/
  36. ^ British variant used sometimes in American English


  1. ^ a b "Unsourced words: Oxford Dictionary of English (BrE).)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  2. ^ "brevet (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  3. ^ "brochure (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  4. ^ "buffet". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  5. ^ "canard". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "BrE pronunciation". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  8. ^ "soupçon". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  9. ^ "Dijon (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "Dijon (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  10. ^ "Dumas (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "Dumas (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  11. ^ "Manet (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "Manet (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  12. ^ "Monet (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  13. ^ "Renault (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "Renault (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  14. ^ "Rimbaud (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "Rimbaud (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  15. ^ "démodé (BrE)". Macmillan Dictionary. "démodé (AmE)". Macmillan Dictionary. 
  16. ^ "decade (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  17. ^ "liaison (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  18. ^ "cremate (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  19. ^ "striate (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  20. ^ "vacate (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  21. ^ "migratory". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  22. ^ "vibratory (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  23. ^ "remonstrate (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  24. ^ "tergiversate". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. "tergiversate (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  25. ^ "celebratory". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  26. ^ "compensatory (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  27. ^ "participatory". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  28. ^ "regulatory (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  29. ^ "compensatory (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  30. ^ "laboratory". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. "laboratory (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  31. ^ "guffaw (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  32. ^ "patronal (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  33. ^ "spreadeagled (BrE)". Cambridge Dictionaries. 
  34. ^ "obscurantism". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  35. ^ "military (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "military (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  36. ^ "inventory (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "inventory (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  37. ^ "testimony". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  38. ^ "innovative". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  39. ^ "library". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  40. ^ "primary". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. "primary (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  41. ^ "rosemary". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  42. ^ "necessarily (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  43. ^ "ductile (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  44. ^ "mobile (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  45. ^ "utile (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "utile (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  46. ^ "projectile (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  47. ^ "mobile (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  48. ^ "rutile (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  49. ^ "labyrinthine (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  50. ^ "Saint (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  51. ^ "Changing Voices: Trap Bath Split". British Library. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  52. ^ "chorale (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  53. ^ "Colorado (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  54. ^ "Nevada (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  55. ^ "pajamas (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  56. ^ "Ankara (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  57. ^ "aqua (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  58. ^ "goulash (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  59. ^ "Kebab (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "Kebab (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  60. ^ "Milan (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  61. ^ "rallentando (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  62. ^ "regatta (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  63. ^ "praline (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  64. ^ "quagmire (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  65. ^ "schmaltz (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  66. ^ "sausage (AmE).". Merriam-Webster. 
  67. ^ "leprechaun (AmE).". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  68. ^ a b "AmE". Merriam-Webster. 
  69. ^ "aesthete (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  70. ^ "amenity (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  71. ^ a b c Brown, Lesley. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 
  72. ^ "era (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  73. ^ "esoteric (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  74. ^ "hysteria (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  75. ^ "oestrogen (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  76. ^ "oestrus (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  77. ^ "predilection (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  78. ^ "schizophrenia (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  79. ^ "depot (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  80. ^ "presentation (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  81. ^ "repartee (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  82. ^ "Haggai (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "Haggai (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  83. ^ "accomplice (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  84. ^ "accomplish (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  85. ^ "baroque (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  86. ^ "Boccherini (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  87. ^ "cognac (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  88. ^ "concerto grosso (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  89. ^ "olfactory (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  90. ^ "produce (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  91. ^ "protege (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  92. ^ "Provencal (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  93. ^ "solstice (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  94. ^ Wells 2000
  95. ^ "Tolstoy (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  96. ^ "yoghurt (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  97. ^ "codicil (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  98. ^ "process (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  99. ^ "italic (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  100. ^ "privacy (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  101. ^ "tricolour (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  102. ^ "been (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  103. ^ "boulevard". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  104. ^ "route (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  105. ^ "acorn". Merriam-Webster. 
  106. ^ "melancholy (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  107. ^ "parallelepiped (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  108. ^ "template (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  109. ^ OED entry
  110. ^ "erudite (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  111. ^ "résumé (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  112. ^ "visa (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 
  113. ^ "sandwich (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  114. ^ "Dionysius (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  115. ^ "celestial (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  116. ^ "consortium (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  117. ^ "sentient (main AmE, Collins BrE)". "sentient (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  118. ^ Jones, Daniel (1991). English Pronouncing Dictionary. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521425865.
  119. ^ Wells, John C. (1990). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. Longman. 
  120. ^ "chthonic (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "chthonic (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  121. ^ "herb (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  122. ^ "Knossos (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  123. ^ "cosmos (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  124. ^ "febrile (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. "febrile (AmE)". Macmillan Dictionary. 
  125. ^ "mama (BrE)". Oxford Dictionaries. "mama (AmE)". Oxford Dictionaries. 
  126. ^ "moustache". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  127. ^ "Pakistan (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  128. ^ "phthisic (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  129. ^ "premature". Oxford Learner's Dictionaries. 
  130. ^ "provost (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  131. ^ "vase (main AmE, Collins BrE)". 
  132. ^ "vase (AmE)". Merriam-Webster. 

Further reading[edit]